Five Spooky Stars! Where has this one been hiding? Mystery is the key here in this independent film and there's plenty of it right up to the very wild end. This film is somewhat in the area code of NIck Cage's "Red Rock West" at the beginning, but it goes in another direction after it gets going. Then what started out as a quirky film kicks it up a notch and becomes a really weird, enjoyable, and special DVD.
Premise: an out of work actor has huge bills, needs a job, and gets way more than he bargains for when he's offered work by a neighbor: because it leads him out into "the big empty". Can't give any more clues without the possibility of ruining it for you. My advice is to see it twice because you'll never see all of the clues the first time through. The second time through, the clues are like glowing neon lights.
The cast list may be misleading: you may not recognize some of the names, but you'll instantly know the faces of this wild ensemble. Jon Favreau is great as the lead. Sean Bean is wonderfully creepy, and Jon Gries, Joey Lauren Adams, Adam Beach, Melora Walters, Gary Farmer and the rest of the crew are excellent. Kelsey Grammer is a surprise who adds alot of big name credibility to the movie. And, trust me, Rachael Leigh Cook gets my vote as flat out one of the most beautiful women in Hollywood. And there is one surprise actor that you won't recognize until the credits are rolling, which may prompt you to hit the reverse button fast. Incidentially, the first scene between Jon and Rachael is a real "hoot" that may slip past you on the first viewing. Pay attention!
This movie, which went direct to DVD, is a wild ride and it's a keeper (I've kept it for 5 years now). It is exactly the type of discovery that many of us movie viewers look forward to, and when we find it, it's really a magical couple of hours that stick in the mind for years. Buckle up, this'll spin your head around. Check your Blue Bowling Balls at the door, please !! My Highest Recommendation. Five Mysterious Stars!!
(Note: "The Big Empty" (I love that title) is a great example of what independent film-making is all about. And this is why well-known actors give their time and talent for 'scale' wages: the results can be spectacularly satisfying for everyone of the film makers and stars involved that is on a level that most of the public will never truly understand.)